I reduced my work inbox from 1,904 messages to zero over the weekend. I can’t tell you the peace of mind.

Back about 1,800 inbox messages ago, I started to fret. The scrolling screens of red unread messages were my hamster wheel. A thousand inbox messages later, I felt symptoms of drowning each time I dove into the inbox, snagged a few important things and dreaded what I was missing. My real life is crazy busy enough without digital waterboarding.

Just as I was hitting rock bottom last week, a promising link appeared in my GTD Times feed. I am a disciple of GTD — Getting Things Done –but like the Disciple Peter in the Garden of Gethsemene, I’ve been dozing. The link promised PDF instructions for putting GTD principles to practice on the Blackberry and Lotus Notes. Best 20 bucks I ever spent.

It was a mind-numbing weekend, but I now have a GTD-spec message archive filing system, a modified Lotus To Do feature to keep my next-action tasks organized and a denser but more helpful Lotus calendar.

The To Do list is bulging and the calendar is daunting. The Blackberry still sucks. But the drowning feeling has been replaced by the bucking-down-the-rapids-in-a-kayak feeling. As David Allen explains in his book Getting Things Done, the drowning feeling comes from unclosed loops, from not knowing what you don’t know and knowing that you left something — probably a lot of things — undone somewhere.

So I made it through this day’s Class IV rapids and I’m feeling a bit cocky about the Class V I hear around the bend. See you on the other side.

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